Mason and the Rainbow Song

Yesterday I filled-in at my school’s summer camp.  When I arrived at noon, children were at lunch.  After all the hugs and hollers, they begged for a ‘Jennie Story’, especially Mason. Interestingly, Mason has never been in my class. He was a kindergartner this past year. Like many children, he has heard my Jennie Stories through the school grapevine.

Later in the day, I was in the bathroom with Mason as he changed out of his wet bathing suit.  Bear in mind that the mind of a child is far more brilliant and fascinating than we realize.  The recall of a moment or a story or a song can be spontaneous.  And that’s exactly what happened in the bathroom with Mason.

The conversation went something like this:

“Jennie, I wish we could sing the rainbow song at camp.”

“What is the rainbow song?  Can you sing some of it for me?”


Then Mason sang a few words, “Red and yellow and…”

“Mason, I know that song!  I love that song.  You sang it at your kindergarten graduation.  I remember.  Can you sing it again for me?”


Mason puffed up his chest with pride.  Yet, he had a somewhat worried look.  I could tell he was missing kindergarten and this song, and he wanted to be able to sing it to me.

“Mason, can I sing along with you?”

He smiled and nodded at the same time.

Together we sang “I Can Sing a Rainbow.”  It was joyous.  Mason was terrible. I was worse. We barely remembered the words.  But, that didn’t matter at all. Mason needed to sing and remember, and I was lucky to tag along and be there for him.

After singing, we smiled and headed out to the playground.  Mason stopped.

“I love you, Jennie.”

“I love you, too, Mason.”

And that was that.  Five minutes in the bathroom can be the best teaching, and an even better giving.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, joy, self esteem, Singing, summer camp, Teaching young children, wonder and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Mason and the Rainbow Song

  1. TanGental says:

    Oh stop it! Your posts need a weep-o-meter to stop me being stared at on the bus as i sniffle and say ‘hayfever’ to whoever looks the most concerned… beautiful

  2. This is a lovely reminder that oftentimes all another person wants from us (whether child or adult) is to be fully present with him or her.

  3. beetleypete says:

    I can well imagine what a very precious moment that was for you, Jennie. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Darlene says:

    What a sweet story. You are so perceptive to know what a child needs at that moment. Mason will always remember this.

  5. ksbeth says:

    what a beautiful and meaningful collaboration

  6. srbottch says:

    You just never know where learnin’w and lovin’ will take place, Jennie. Very nice!

  7. Norah says:

    A moment to treasure – for both of you.

  8. That was probably as close to singing in the shower as you two could get that day. What a happy experience. I’d never heard the song but how very sweet. Sounds like you have quite the reputation among the wee folk, Jennie. Life doesn’t get better than that.

    • Jennie says:

      Definitely like singing in the shower! Good thing no one else was close by to hear. 🙂 I’ll take a reputation with children over adults any day. The genuine-ality is priceless.

  9. Lovely story, Jennie. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. Dan Antion says:

    This is just so sweet, Jennie. You both have a special camp memory.

  11. How lovely – for both of you ❤

  12. Ritu says:

    That song reminds me of my nursery time! I was yellow in a show we put on, performing it!

  13. Opher says:

    What a perfect time!!

  14. Such a sweet story! I’m sure that just made his day.

  15. Yay Mason for wanting to share and Yay teacher for enabling it! And yay to both of you for not caring a wit about missed words.

  16. Ellen says:

    A lovely story about a lovely song! This story takes me back to a cherished childhood memory. I remember learning this song from the frequently played 1955 album “Song’s From Pete Kelly’s Blues” by Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald. The song “Sing a Rainbow” was written by Arthur Hamilton for the movie and was sung by Peggy Lee. My parents had enjoyed the movie and the album appeared as a gift for my mother from my father. My siblings and I sang along with Peggy Lee and soon knew all the words. I played this on my guitar and sang it to my own children. One of Benjamin’s favorite early books is “What Makes a Rainbow” by Betty Schwartz, a Magic Ribbon Book that still delights him…although there is no pink in that rainbow! Every reading of that book concludes with the singing of “Sing a Rainbow”. Benjamin knows all the words and always laughs about pink in the rainbow and “listen with your eyes”! Reading your story of Mason’s rainbow song brought to mind some words that I often repeat : “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss. Thank-you!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you so much for your wonderful insight into this song, Ellen. I didn’t know it had roots back to the 50’s and Peggy Lee. What was the movie? How wonderful that it was a part of your childhood, and also Benjamin’s. I can picture you two reading together and then singing the song. Lump in your throat kind of thing. 🙂 The Dr. Seuss quote is perfect!

      • Ellen says:

        The movie is “Pete Kelly’s Blues” and the star was none other than Jack Webb of later “Dragnet” fame. It was based on the very short-lived radio series from a few years earlier which had also starred Webb. The film was a musical that centers around a speakeasy during Prohibition with Webb as a bandleader and coronet player. Among the many other notable cast members are Edmund O’Brien, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Janet Leigh, Andy Devine and Lee Marvin. I was almost 30 before I saw the movie, but knew the music well from the album. I imagine the movie could still be found somewhere, perhaps on YouTube. Like yourself, many people know “Sing a Rainbow” but not its origins. How often is one able to “educate” the Teacher! Thank-you!

      • Jennie says:

        A hundred thank yous, Ellen!!

  17. I love you too, Jennie!

  18. What a beautiful moment, Jennie. I sometimes have people I help tell me they love me. In Africa, it is a way of expressing thanks. It is sad and heartwarming at the same time.

  19. You’ve just told us yet another “Jennie story.” So sweet!

  20. So wonderful, Jennie. I hope that my children’s teachers give half as much as you do.

  21. Aw Jennie — a moment as beautiful as any rainbow. I doubt anyone else could have described it so perfectly. Hugs on the wing.

  22. Annika Perry says:

    Jennie, I’m with Geoff here … this has me in happy tears … precious moments in one’s day and thank you for sharing here!

  23. John Kraft says:

    I wish that I had been a student of yours.

  24. John Kraft says:


    May I reblog this later this month?


  25. Oh my, that post needed a tissue alert! Swoon! What a beautiful story, and 5 minutes.

    • Jennie says:

      I should have warned you. 🙂 Thank you, Deborah. Sometimes those beautiful moments just happen. I always feel lucky when I’m ‘there’.

  26. Lovely. The song is wonderful too, Jennie! Hope you will have a nice week. Michael

  27. Such a joy to read and to think of all the short experiences I have had with children I cared for when I was an aide, often washing up for lunch, and singing little tunes they remembered to help them be sure to scrub their hands. Those were such good days overall with the children. I do so miss them now.

  28. quiall says:

    What a lovely memory! You are the reason kids remember school fondly.

  29. Pingback: Reblog From “A Teacher’s Reflection” – “Mason And The Rainbow Song” | Down the Hall on Your Left

  30. Beautiful… Precious moments to make and cherish!

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